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Gators cruise past Matadors
Bulloch Academy pitcher Clayton Rogers delivers to the plate Tuesday against Memorial Day School. Rogers gave up one run and three hits in four innings as the Gators won, 5-1. - photo by RAHN HUTCHESON/Special

    Bulloch Academy pitchers Clayton Rogers and Joshua Bishop combined to hurl a three-hitter as the Gators downed non-region foe Memorial Day School, 5-1, on Tuesday in BA’s home opener.
    Rogers, a senior, went four innings, giving up three hits and one run. Bishop, a freshman, came on in relief in the fifth inning and set the Matadors down in order.
    “Clayton set the tone for us right off the bat,” BA head coach Dennis Dove said. “He threw strikes, got ahead in the count and executed his pitches. Bishop worked hard over the summer and it is starting to show. He was overpowering when he came in.”
    The Gators (2-1) scored single runs in each of the first five innings on just four hits.
    “We struggled on offense,” Dove said. “We couldn’t seem to get on track.”
    Bailey Smith scored in the opening inning, drawing a walk, taking both second and third on wild pitches and racing home on Loy Waters’ sacrifice fly to center. In the second, Jarret Humphries blasted a leadoff double to left field. He advanced to third on Erick Renew’s putout and scored when Forrest Spence blooped a singled into short center. Humphries led the Gators, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
    Rogers gave up his first hit in the third when, with two outs, Brandon Lethinen beat out an infield single. But Renew, BA’s catcher, threw the Matador out as he was trying to steal second to end the threat.
    Rogers helped his own cause in the third when he drove in Waters on a sharp single up the middle, giving the Gators a 3-0 lead. Waters had walked and advanced to second on a Chris Young ground out to second.
    Memorial (0-1) got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth. Shane Davis singled to left, advanced on a Ben Hester putout and scored on Donald Bulloch’s poke to right center to cut the lead to 3-1. With one out and runners on first and second, Memorial threatened to rally for more. But Rogers expertly pitched out of a jam to end the inning.
    BA went up, 4-1, in the fourth. Connor Reed drew a base on balls and hustled to second on a passed ball. He took third when Smith Reeves grounded out  to third and raced home on a Memorial fielding error.
    Bishop got the nod to start the fifth on the hill and wasted no time in doing his job, striking out the first two batters he faced. The hard-throwing youngster faced 10 Matadors and fanned six of them.
    The Gators scored their final run in the bottom of the inning. Both Waters and Young walked and advanced on Rogers’ fly out to left. Waters scored when Humphries ripped a long single to the center-field fence.    
    Bulloch hosts Region 4-AAA foe Trinity Christian School on Friday.